How To Carve A Pumpkin

Halloween is just around the corner, so why not grab yourself a pumpkin and practise your pumpkin carving!

What You Need

1 medium-sized pumpkin (or as many as you want to carve)


Newspaper, or butcher paper
Permanent marker
Sharp knife, a scraper, and a wire modeling tool – all available from your local Red Dot store
Two medium bowls (one for seeds, one for pumpkin guts) 
Kitchen towel
Tea light candle and long match or BBQ lighter with extended nozzle


Set up your workspace: Line a sturdy table with newspaper, or butcher paper. Have your permanent marker, carving tools, and bowls nearby.

Draw your design: After you’ve determined the best side of your pumpkin for a face, use the permanent marker to sketch out eyes, a nose, and a toothy grin.

Draw your lid: Outline a circular lid around the pumpkin stem, about 5 to 6 inches wide. Add a notch in the back if you like — this makes it easier to line up.

Cut out the pumpkin lid: With a slim carving knife cut along the outline of your pumpkin lid. Make sure you slice through the pumpkin at a 45-degree inward angle, so you’ll be able to replace the lid without it falling in.

Remove the pumpkin seeds: The seeds are attached to the pumpkin and each other by thin stringy bits. Grab the seeds with your hands and place them in the rubbish bowls, to be cleaned later.

Scoop out the insides of the pumpkin: Using the scraper or a metal spoon, clean out the inside of the pumpkin until no stringy bits remain. Discard the pumpkin insides in the second bowl.

Wipe off the pumpkin: Use the kitchen towel to wipe off the outside of the pumpkin so that it will be easier and safer to carve.

Cut out the design: Make straight cuts into your pumpkin along the lines of your design, removing the pieces and discarding them in the rubbish bowl.

Clean up with the wire carving tool: Go back in and scrape out any stringy pieces or jagged lines with the wire tool. You can also scrape off the marker lines while you’re at it, though they won’t be visible in the darkness of night.

Light your pumpkin: Insert a tea light candle in the bottom of your pumpkin and place the lid on top. Use a long match or lighter, inserted through the mouth, to light the candle.

Bonus Step: Make roasted pumpkin seeds! Clean and dry the pumpkin seeds, then toss with oil, salt, and any desired seasonings, and roast in a low oven until golden brown. Yum!